This week, we take it up a notch with the power wheel designed to challenge regular core training programmes

This week, we take it up a notch with the power wheel designed to challenge regular core training programmes

The power wheel, similar in the way it looks to its more common cousin the ab wheel that has narrower handles and no pedals, helps work on the core muscles and build functional strength and stability. It has a wheel at the centre and a broader handle bar with two paddles, one on either side. Straps attached to the paddles hold the feet in place as one executes exercises using this unstable equipment. Power wheels are relatively inexpensive, easy to store, and require zero maintenance. It is an interesting and challenging variation to the regular strength and core training programme.

Warm up with a short or long walk prior to the workout, or do any other form of cardio for 15 to 30 minutes. The power wheel can be used either by itself or as a part of gym work. Remember that at no stage should the shoulders go up towards the ears; neither should the lower back overarch. For the given sample workout, repeat each exercise 10 times, unless mentioned otherwise. As you get used to the workout, do three or four sets.

Sample workout

On hands and knees

Hold the handles with one hand on either side. Roll the wheel away from you as far as possible and roll back using the strength of the arms, back, and core muscles — the latter work as stabilisers.

Plank

Hold the power wheel and go into a high plank. Maintain the position for a minute. As you get better at it, try lifting one leg off the floor.

Reverse plank

Sit on the floor with both feet straight out. Lock your feet into the power wheel straps. Raise the hip to go into a reverse high plank and hold for a minute. The wheel rolls away as you execute this.

Dynamic hip lifter

Maintain the reverse high plank and roll the wheel towards yourself to bring the hips between the arms. Roll the wheel away and go into a reverse plank.

Knee tucks

Go on your hands and knees. Your feet are locked into the straps, arms in line with the shoulders. Lift the knees off the floor; roll the wheel away to go into a plank and bring it back towards the chest. This works the abs, along with shoulders, arms, back, chest, legs and core.

The pike

From the plank position, roll the wheel towards you but keep the legs straight and lift the hip towards the ceiling. This is a more challenging version of the knee tucks.

Bridging

Lie down on your back, your feet locked into the power wheel. Maintain the knee to ankle alignment. Lift the hips off the floor into a bridge and hold for 10 seconds. The challenge is to hold the posture without allowing the wheel to move.

Hamstring and glutes

From the bridge position, roll the wheel away from you to straighten the legs. Keep the knees unlocked. Reverse the movement to bring the wheel towards you and get back into a bridge position.

Plank crawl

Take the plank position with your feet locked into the straps. Crawl forward for 10 movements on your hands; crawl back. Repeat for a minute.

Cool down and stretch all the major muscle groups post workout.

Nisha Varma is an ACSM-certified exercise physiologist. This is a monthly column with exercises for a home workout.